Minneapolis residents: go to this link and copy the text below to let Mayor Frey know you want MPD reform following the killing of George Floyd.
Invoking City of Minneapolis’ Charter § 7.3 (a), which gives the Mayor the authority to “make all rules and regulations” for the operation of the police department, the citizens of Minneapolis petition Mayor Frey the following in response to the killing of George Floyd:
1. Revise the Procedures/Regulations section of the Minneapolis Police Department Policy & Procedure Manual Volume 5-311 on neck restraints and chokeholds following input from community leaders from the wards of Minneapolis. An absolute limit on or the abolishment of prone restraints should also be discussed.
Reasons: George Floyd died the evening of Monday, May 25th while in police custody. This custody included excessive and prolonged use of force by ex-officer Chauvin, namely a neck restraint in the prone position that significantly contributed to, if not single-handedly caused, his death.
Since 2015, neck restraints have been used 237 times by Minneapolis officers with 44 restraints causing loss of consciousness (18.6% of the time). Of those who lost consciousness, roughly half were injured. Police experts showed concern with the volume of neck restraints and loss of consciousness in Minneapolis. Further, many major police departments outright ban the use of neck restraints.
2. Conduct a comprehensive review of restraints being used by MPD to measure their efficacy, safety, and injury and mortality rates. Such a review should also consider how restraints are used by age group.
Reason: This review is being called for to explore other potentially problematic restraints in use by MPD.
3. Require intervention from officers witnessing improper use of force.
Reason: Three ex-officers watched as ex-officer Chauvin used an improper neck restraint on George Floyd. Any of them could have and should have been required to intervene to save his life.
4. Officers with concerning complaints records should be subject to independent reviews that include Minneapolis citizenry (i.e., not through internal affairs) and provide transparency to the public. Concerning records include specific types of complaints (e.g., excessive use of force, use of deadly force, death or severe injury of a civilian), high frequency of complaints in a specified time period, and high volume of complaints over the span of a policing career.
Reason: Ex-officer Chauvin had a record of 18 complaints against him during his policing career with only two letters of reprimand to show for them. Such numbers undermine community trust in internal affairs to conduct just investigations.
5. Mandate diversity training that encompasses both online and in-person instruction and is conducted as frequently as deemed necessary by community leaders from the wards of Minneapolis.
Reason: Minneapolis is a historically and currently diverse city. Training should be required that explores the diverse history, ethnicities, and cultures of this city. In-person training should be mandatory, given the inefficacy of purely online trainings. MPD could be a model for other organizations to create effective diversity trainings.